Gov. Mead opens Legislature’s budget session

Dan Neal of the Equality State Policy Center wrote about Gov. Matt Mead’s speech at the opening of the 2012 Wyoming Legislative session, in which matters of workplace safety, lowered revenue expectations and infrastructure investment were the top topics of discussion:

“The 61st Wyoming Legislature opened Monday with Gov. Matt Mead declaring, ‘The state of the State is strong.’

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. (click to enlarge)

Wyoming must plan for lower revenues from natural gas extraction, he said. But he said the state remains strong financially and still has many options to explore thanks in large part to extraction of minerals worth more than $15.5 billion and a thriving tourism industry.

The governor touched briefly on worker safety, a top priority of the Equality State Policy Center in the 2012 budget session. Mead asked the legislature to support his proposal, which includes a request that the legislature create five new positions for courtesy inspectors for OSHA. On courtesy inspections, those inspectors would assess work sites and indentify potential hazards and violations of safety law but assess no penalties. The companies involved would be alerted and allowed a defined period to correct any violations.

In his very positive State of the State message, the governor spoke of the need to concentrate more on technology to diversify the economy by building on the presence of the NCAR super-computer in Wyoming and expanding the availability of broadband across the state. He also urged careful examination of “value-added technologies” such as coal-to-liquids – a reference to the big DKRW coal-to-liquids plant proposed near Medicine Bow – and gas-to-liquids.”

Click here to read the rest of Neal’s post.

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